A tribute to the Rollercoaster male lion

Rollercoaster male lion

Rollercoaster male lion by Leslie Backus

It seems only right that we end our recent journey down memory lane with a tribute to the Rollercoaster male. Leslie Backus and Denise Sharp, both from Ohio in the U.S., visited MalaMala in November 2008. The two friends were clearly taken with this magnificent male, as they put together a clip dedicated entirely to him when they got home. Leslie took all the still shots, while Denise was responsible for the video footage.

Says Leslie, “The Rollercoaster male was a big part of our trip, we saw him almost everyday for the five days we were there. As you can tell from his belly in the video, he’d been hanging around a buffalo carcass for a couple of days and failed to invite any of his friends to dinner. Our guide, Keenan, told us that Roller Boy (as we called him) was very good at finding free meals. I was very sad to read of the end of his reign. Arab, our tracker, and Keenan were both great. They had no problem finding the ‘Big 5’ for us, along with all the other great things you’re likely to see while on safari. One morning they even made us a fabulous breakfast in the bush.”

We kicked off this impromptu series with the Styx pride fighting for their cubs. The little guys belonged to the Rollercoaster male, and the pride was defending them against the Eyrefield males, who were intent on taking over at the time. Then last week we showed the Eyrefield lionesses and their cubs enjoying some lion family time with Roller Boy. And finally, a fond farewell to this well-known and much loved male.

Happy almost weekend folks, enjoy!

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